747C.00/7–2754: Telegram

No. 374
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece1


230. British have informed Department strictest confidence UK intention announce new limited constitution for Cyprus nearest future probably tomorrow July 28 and that Greek and Turkish Governments would be informed prior public statement in Parliament.2 Although not satisfying Greek desire for direct talks with UK this can be considered constructive move to get problem off dead center. Greek Government cannot be expected welcome British proposal wholeheartedly but we hope Greek official reaction may be temperate and helpful.

In Department’s view Greek Government will assume grave responsibility for disruption to free-world unity by bringing Cyprus question UN. Department seriously disturbed recent declaration Makarios urging violence as means achieving Enosis.3 Department believes Greek Government should give most considered thought to modifying its policy on Cyprus and exerting influence to encourage Cypriot cooperation in orderly development self government along lines new UK proposals and to restrain Makarios from stepping out of his role as religious leader and inciting Cypriot population to violence.

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Department therefore wishes you deliver earliest July 28 to Stephanopoulos and/or Papagos as personal message from Secretary text letter forwarded you by GTI July 134 with changes suggested Embtel 196.5 In your rewording combining paragraphs 7 and 8 original letter final sentence should be changed read: “This Government has made its views on this subject known also to the UK.”

  1. Drafted by Baxter and cleared by Meyers and Jernegan; cleared in draft with Raynor.
  2. The statement by Hopkinson in the House of Commons, July 28, is in H.C. Debs., 5th series, vol. 531, col. 504.
  3. Circular airgram 766 to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia, July 31, reported that Archbishop Makarios made a speech rejecting the idea of a constitution and stated that although the campaign would remain peaceful, “British supporters of imperialist dreams only understand force.” (747C.00/7–3154)
  4. Reference is to a letter by Richards to Cannon, July 13, which enclosed a letter by Dulles to Stephanopoulos. (Athens Embassy files, lot 60 F 16, “350 Cyprus 1954”) For the revised text of the message by Dulles to Stephanopoulos, July 28, see infra.
  5. Telegram 196 from Athens, July 24, reported that the letter by Dulles might be interpreted by the Greeks to mean U.S. full endorsement of the British position. The Embassy in Athens suggested changes in the text, which were approved by this telegram. (747C.00/7–2454)